ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired
38. THE FANATICS ~ 1967.10.27
(Diana Hyland ~ Diana Russell, Donald Marshall ~ Kimini, William Smithers)
Tarzan helps a female reporter expose a rigged tribal election.
“You are leaving, young lady, if I have to carry you. Is that understood?”
Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Episode 38. THE FANATICS
Review By Charles Mento
“He asked me to take care of you. He said to give you a hand if you needed it. I figured you needed it.”
This episode might be my favorite, certainly my favorite so far. The only thing I can find wrong with it is what’s wrong with every spy/Batman/superhero that is just a human being/ action hero adventure movie and TV show ever made: the villains have guns and can shoot and kill the hero and his friends at any time and often do not. They don’t here. Even more so than that, the villains have captured the hero or heroes as in GOLDFINGER with James Bond and various episodes of BATMAN’s great 1966-69 series…and instead of shooting them outright and killing them, they tie them up or put them in some incredible torture death trap. Here, originally for this show, Tarzan and the wonderful Diana Russell (played by the wonderful Diana Hyland, later of EIGHT IS ENOUGH FAME), are tied to the shore of a lagoon where piranha will soon eat the flesh off their bones (we saw two of her contacts’ bodies in the water already).
Diana is the only one who could deliver corny jokes about things and make it feel natural and part of her character. She has to say things like, “Well, I’ve seen them throw their hats in the ring before, but, ahh…” and “I’ve seen politicians run for office but this is ridiculous…” about the trials of election and on another actress they might have sounded as corny as they really were, not to mention her asking if Jai is the friend of Tarzan’s with the bikini. From her it is all fine. The only other actress I can think of that might make these lines sound as good as Diana is Deanna Lund of LAND OF THE GIANTS.
Okay, there’s another fault here with this fun filled, action filled, almost perfect episode but it’s been a problem with TARZAN before: the villains are just so stupid sometimes. Having already seen B’ombi try to kill Russell and then Tarzan with a grenade (one of the great tension filled moments in this episode and one of the best of the entire series as a voice does a countdown on the backpack of the assassin toward the end of 30 seconds as Tarzan fights with him to free Diana, the other hench man, whose name I don’t believe we ever hear but which IMDB says is Eric, uses a pulled grenade to kill Tarzan and gets the same fate as B’ombi: blown up and dead.
BTW, BOMBi with a bomb? Really? That’s like calling a planet in DOCTOR WHO, Destructon or Dalekfilled.
As for the carriers/bearers who are really Brooks’ men, they chase Tarzan and Diana across water filled with piranha and at least one of them dies that way. Diane has on boots but how does Tarzan escape that fate? Being fast? So there’s another problem. Darn. I still like this episode.
Brooks, apparently signaled by newsreporter Diana (of the UA Press, that Tarzan knows is a code word for spies from America) as being a commissar of Russia, dies the same way as the bearer. Instead of a fight with Tarzan, we get…him crossing piranha filled water and dying that way. 1970s FROGS style.
In any case, William Smithers (frequent guest star of the 1960s and in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA’s THE PLANT MAN as telepathic twin brothers, one evil, one good, sort of) is Brooks. He’s been in STAR TREK and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, too.
Brooks is played by George Murdock who was in two previous TARZAN episodes, END OF THE RIVER and DAY OF THE GOLDEN LION. He plays a good guy in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA as Dr. Salik, perhaps his only “good guy” role ever! All of these guest stars have HUGE credits and did lots of work over the years.
The very muscular Charles Wood appears shirtless again here, in this, his last of EIGHT Tarzan episodes. He plays B’ombi in maniacal fashion. I wish they had made him a regular villain in some ways. He seems to give Tarzan a real run for his money in most episodes. Wood appears not to have an ounce of fat on him.
One of the main reasons I love this is that Don Marshall, one of my favorite 1960s actors, is in this. He is, of course, one of the main stars of the fantastic and best series ever made, LAND OF THE GIANTS, an African American man playing what should have been second credited role (Stefan’s Barry was cast third and Don Matheson’s Mark was cast first or second). Don is a likable character in everything he does.
He also played in STAR TREK and did a fab job in a second rate script (GALILEO SEVEN). He was also in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, JULIA, DAKTARI, IRONSIDE, and many others. He appeared in TERMINAL ISLAND with LOST IN SPACE’s Marta Kristen (Judy). He also was in the grade z laugh out loud sci fi movie THE THING WITH TWO HEADS. And BUCK ROGERS with VOYAGE’s Bob Dowdell (PLANET OF THE SLAVE GIRLS) and at least four episodes of the INCREDIBLE HULK, among others.
Don is likable here (well he always is), as Kimini, and Diana’s lack of faith in Kimini as true blue African politician vs Tarzan’s total belief in Kimini as a true altruist is a main part of the terrific script and dialog. She believes Kimini might be helping Brooks and is a fraud in his desire to help the tribes. What’s interesting is that uniting the tribes might be seen as something good if Brooks can bring medicine and education (was the telling the truth as communism might bring that?) and even Tarzan comments that Brooks’ plan (before Tarzan knew he was a killer) sounds like a good one. Will the tribes be united still, after Brooks’ defeat? Later, Diana thinks maybe Kimini is innocent but might just be fooled by crafty double talking Brooks.
They could have made Kimini a bit more suspect. From the start he is honest, having a great relationship with Jai and Tarzan but I guess that is the point and Don carries this over well in an almost thankless role. That he didn’t know Brooks and his cronies were up to something even when they all vanished from camp (I have to rewatch to find out where they were all going?!), is a bit hard to swallow and that he might be swayed by Brooks’ manipulations might just happen if he were gullible. As it stands, Jai gets to him and alerts him that Tarzan and Diana are in trouble. Kimini makes a quick speech (well done and thankfully short as we’ve seen other such speeches in this series and sometimes they’re slightly painful) and leads villagers to help Tarzan in a well staged but quick battle. Most battles are quick. This one has Kimini spear down a man. The men Brooks lead has…uhm, guns and rifles and they…lost. So I guess that’s another problem with the episode.
Though the chase is fantastically exciting, it’s almost difficult to think of any other TARZAN running from villains, even when those villains had guns and rifles (and use them badly like they are dumb). To make up for all the running afterward, earlier, a scene of Tarzan and Diana taking refuse in a loan hut (was this a village attacked by Brooks and his men? Or just a base for Diana’s undercover operatives?), are besieged by men climbing the walls. Tarzan uses a stick to knock them all down AND when grenades are thrown, Tarzan tosses one back to them. Tarzan and Diana are captured anyway but it’s a great sequence.
Okay, so this episode, like all the others is not without its flaws but from the start to the finish it’s exciting, at least to me. Diana Hyland makes a great “girl” for Tarzan, capable of running with him and not always a shrinking violet. Jai is useful in this episode, alerting Kimini and also making a knife that he gives to Diana as a present. This knife helps she and Tarzan escape as impossibly, she gets it out of her breast pocket with her mouth, flings it under Tarzan’s upper body or arm and he manages to move it to his wrist to cut it so the piranha will bite his ropes (?)! It made sense when I watched it. The direction for all these scenes is tense and exciting, however, and you will not notice the flaws. Well, maybe.
Diana mentions a man who sent her on this mission and Tarzan knows him. I wondered if this name was present in a past episode or most likely, a past book by Edgar Rice Burroughs. While looking for this info on line, I found this:
Jai seems to have gotten a very neat haircut and it looks very short this time out. It seems to get slightly longer in the scenes where he takes off with Diana, Tarzan and Cheetah. Also the loin cloth he wears seems to look different or fit differently or something. In fact, it could be my imagination but Jai looks slightly older and then younger in some scenes.
Diana knows Tarzan knows the code word UNIVERSAL AMALGAMATED PRESS through Andre Marchand who asked Tarzan to take care of Diana. To have such a specific name for a contact and his cover company makes me think that this came from another source: either a book or another movie, more likely Burrough’s? Maybe?
Things on Andea’s map that he gave Diana include: Botonea River, Kenbasi, Lupori River, Banako, Wambusi (which I believe is where they are traveling to), and something Kubi River.
Kimini hasn’t seen Tarzan in four years. He was at school getting a political science diploma and a psychology. He seems to become leader by…wrestling and racing (?). Jai flips Cheetah in a wrestle, mimicking. Brooks’ plan is to use Kimini when he becomes President. Jai knows Kimini, too—and he must have been six, seven or even five years old four years ago!
All tribes under one democratically elected President is the ploy Brooks uses. Kimini “thought” about Tarzan often while he was in school. Hmmm.
Tarzan and Kimini have been friends since they were children. Kimini wants to make Tarzan an advisor when he becomes President.
The “trials” leave Kimini NOT a President but a delegate from what I can tell. Brooks promised money for farms, medicine, books, doctors, cattle and education. BUT then he makes a speech about all the tribes choosing one man over all the tribes and he will campaign and debate all the other candidates.
The INTERPOL agents waiting for her for two days, were killed. One was named John Leavitt or Lovett.
A word about the music. I think we’ve heard most of it before but here, it’s much louder and more exciting than ever before and used often. The action music is wonderful and the creepy music used in the horror episodes briefly accompanies the creepy piranha first appearance in a cloud on the water.
Though Diana is working for the “agency” INTERPOL, she must also really be a reporter. At one point, she wants to give it up to become a worker in a nice quiet bank with guards and alarm bells.
She calls Jai’s wardrobe a bikini but surely it’s not that?
Not sure why this is called THE FANATICS. Maybe because both Eric and B’ombo will suicide bomb for the “cause.” Eric would do the first bombing but B’ombo wanted to do it. Penalty for failure is worse than the bomb.
Tarzan blatantly says, “THIS IS AFRICA.”
Also: I love the part where Tarzan insists Diana leave, calling her young lady and threatens to make her leave by putting her over his shoulder to carry her out. Such a thing might never be said today, even in a Tarzan movie, which is why I don’t think any more Tarzan movies should be made unless things are promised to be like they were in the books or older movies? Ely balances out the rough ape man threats with a nicer tone, too, but he’s ape when he needs to be. As ever, he’s just terrific.
Kimini tells Tarzan they will wait for him in M’Bala. Tarzan claims he will be gone two days.
When Kimini finds Tarzan and Diana gone from the beach, his back looks as if he’s been sprayed with mud?
In short, I love this episode!
Oh, but wait, weren’t those men trying to call out the animals at the very start of the episode to kill Diana and now…they’re the bearers for Brooks? Doesn’t that just spell evil? Neither Tarzan nor Diana notice that the men they are traveling with later in the episode are the same men that seemingly were trying to kill her at the start? What?
Tarzan has told Jai he has to cut out jumping into Kimini’s arms when Kimini becomes President and just shake hands instead. He and Jai seem like brothers.
Brooks sent Kimini to school, one of the things that made Diana initially suspicious of Kimini, too.
The gang are traveling to election stops. The first stop if Wambusi.
Not sure if Ely ever got a Tarzan chest beat in any episode but here, Jai does a Tarzan/King Kong chest beat in his winning wrestle-play with Cheetah.
I’m not sure who those men with spears are that are listening to one of Kimini’s speeches but…maybe I won’t write a thing about them. They don’t look like chiefs. There, I did it.
During one walking through the jungle scene, Cheetah comes running from the side and clings to Ely’s leg after he pats it for him/her (?) to run to.
Jai’s plans for the thing (the grenade handle which Tarzan recognizes) he found (part of the excess waste from the time bomb) include making a collar for Cheetah (but he, meaning Cheetah doesn’t want that), a necklace for himself, then a belt buckle (and then what is left over a bracelet for Miss Russell), and later a knife, which is the tool that saves Tarzan and Diana.
When Jai settles on a curved knife, Diana makes a sly reference to Russia, “Rather looks like a sickle.”
There is an effort to give the impression that here and there a mosquito here or there is biting (mostly from Charles Wood’s smacking his head).
Just before B’ombi sets off his …err, time bomb, Ely points up to a tree and Cheetah goes up the tree.
The time bomb sequence might be the best sequence in the entire series. I just love it. It feels so suspenseful and you almost feel that Diana could be killed and B’ombi might win. Tarzan, diving away from the blasts (double blast?), recovers and holds his ears (shades of THE DEADLY SILENCE parts 1 and 2).
Okay, this is weird. Where Tarzan says, “No birds, no noise…” there’s a shot of the land and water…and some THING with legs in the air and on its back. A dead hippo? A hippo statue? Anyone know what THAT is?
Tarzan knows Jai well enough to have to remind him twice to “stay here.” Of course, he does but then he had to go get Kimini.
We do NOT ever find out what happened in that ransacked hut but one can imagine a fight between the Interpol agents that Diana was supposed to give her story to and Brooks and his men.
Jai going for and running toward help is so very a Boy 1930s/1940s thing to do but it’s filmed in a very future 1970 kind of way to be a mix of both “feels” as Jai runs for Kimini, we get a fast tracking shot, he goes in and out of focus, trees and bushes in front and behind him, blurred image, jumping, running, hair flopping (his hair also looks shorter than it did before he left and was watching Tarzan and Diana staked out on the beach for the piranha to kill). Was Kimini really going to let Jai rush into battle beside him?
Unlike BUCK ROGERS where apparently Gil Gerard (love him anyway) insisted that Buck extricate himself out of every situation, TARZAN’s makers often did the opposite: if it weren’t for Jai and especially Kimini, Tarzan would have been killed. In fact, this episode, as much as I love it, is really a series of set pieces and Tarzan seems to lose at least twice here and run away a lot! True, he had Diana to consider but he LET her come with him rather than stay hidden with Jai.
A lot of the stock footage of animals works well here, looking fresh and vibrant… and some of it…doesn’t, grainy and old looking.
Jai seems to have a big black mark on his right leg as he runs to find the knife that was left on the beach near the stakes.
There’s a really quick shot of the water as Jai stops before the water and…it looks gruesome. It seems to be piranha on the surface finishing off one of the bearers! No blood but it still looks horrendously gross!
ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired
39. THE LAST OF THE SUPERMEN ~ 1967.11.03
(Alf Kjellin ~ von Wolvner, Antoinette Bower ~ Helge)
A unrepentant Nazi forces Tarzan to help him locate a buried fortune left over from the war.
Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Episode 39. THE LAST OF THE SUPERMEN
Review By Charles Mento
“There’s something else I wish you could do. That’s run. We’re about to be attacked. Go!”
“Tarzan alone travels too fast and too quiet.”
Well, turns out the Supermen are really dumb. Following on in this series, the dumbest villains are in this episode but they have a lot of contenders. Frankly, though I love TARZAN, the series is sort of repetitious. Here, I expected certain things from it and to be fair, the episode doesn’t go THERE but goes HERE.
First, it’s not a bad episode by any means. Well filmed, with a great set of guest stars, as we will see, among them Brock Peters and Antoinette Bowers (see her in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, she’s a hoot).
What is this time of the series that is preoccupied with killing off children? Here, M’kone’s son is murdered (off screen), shot in the back by the Nazis (we don’t know which one but probably Von Wolvner but could he shoot four people in the back?). Also shot running away in fear is M’Kone’s wife. Two others were killed, too: a young man and another woman.
M’Kone, played by the wonderful Brock Peters, goes on a mission of murder…to kill the Nazis that killed them. One was his wife and young son (the child).
He takes with him a lot of men, including a VERY muscular one that, later, with another man, had Tarzan tied to a tree. In a wonderful scene, Tarzan tricks one man into giving him water and then uses his legs to hold that man as a human shield so the muscle man (and he really is muscled and lean) cannot spear Tarzan. Tarz has already freed his hands and now bests both them, beating them down.
Question is: is it worth it, Tarzan? I guess Tarzan is worried about the young (he’d have to be twenty something ---22? in order to remember events just after WW2) son of one former Nazi. He might be killed by Von Wolvner (probably the most cold blooded and cowardly and evil villains of the entire series as he guns down the boy’s father, former Nazi Arthur Steuer, infront of the blond haired blue eyed 20something year old son, the good looking Helmut played with gravitas by Michael Burns. Even so, we might expect a huge showdown between Tarzan and Wolvner. We don’t get it. The idiot dies, supposedly, with his equally stupid aide, Kurt Egger.
We expect Kurt to be an okay Nazi (?) maybe? I mean Arthur realize the error of his ways and reformed, to take away the books (Mein Kampf?) from Helmut and replace it with the Bible?
BTW Arthur is played by the talented Ben Wright, who also died horribly as a cold blooded murder victim in CAP’N JAI and who was Tarzan’s friend in MAN KILLER.
Kurt, however, has his really good willed sister along. We find out that she’s not that bad from the start and pleads for the boy’s life and also that of Tarzan. She also says what is probably the ONLY direct pass at Tarzan, “You know, I could love a man like you.” She’s probably NOT a Nazi. Her name is Helge. Though when her brother finds out that the boy is at the Sarava Mission School, she seems excited and touches Von’s hand in anticipation. What gives?
Question is: how did she come along with them? Was it originally the idea of a million dollars? She seems not to care about the money from the start. She is played by the wonderful Antoinette Bower, who looks foreign, plays foreign, and can play a goodie or a baddie so we’re not sure if she is good or bad until she starts opening her mouth and telling us she’s good in almost everything she says. Kurt doesn’t care a bit about his sister because of the money and along with Von Wolvner but we don’t find this out until late in the episode. We expect him to turn on Vonnie ole boy but he never does. He goes along with Von Wolvner into the lake into the underground cave (yes, another one!) to find the bonds (will Nazis be able to cash in bonds? These days bonds mean very little, I think.
The two idiots die when a huge roof of boulders caves in on them. This despite Tarzan having warned them (that’s right, Tarzan told the Nazis monsters not to die this way) and them having enough time to get away! If they are dead. I can see a sequel telling us the two idiots are alive and escaped.
A few VERY odd things here:
First and foremost is TARZAN himself. WTF? Tarzan, who we have seen kill an enemy with a spear, throw another man off a cliff by accident, another on purpose, and kill various other men (including leaving another enemy to sink into quicksand…well, Tarzan was deaf), has his ENTIRE motivation to stop M’Kone from killing the two Nazis as… “Let the law handle it” and he goes so far as to promise the gun toting Nazis NOT to kill them!? WTF? I mean Tarzan is threatened by death by his friend M’Kone. That’s another thing, everywhere we go, we find Tarzan has a friend, an old friend. He was there when M’Kone had the marriage celebration and at M’Kone’s son’s birth. The ape man should want to kill those men himself. Here, Tarzan is given the true blue angelic hero motif of NEVER KILL, which might just work if the series had this as his personality from the start. AND Tarzan has this angelic forgiveness, “respect for all life, even Nazis” and “let the law punish” BEFORE he realizes Helmut is “kidnapped” by the Nazis.
Second, Helmut himself. The boy seems to be a Nazi Youth in all but name and total dedication. The entire plot, which almost works, is that he doesn’t cry and is not like his father was after his father’s reformation. He is more thinking that tough is being a Nazi. The “books” he had from dad before dad reformed as only once talked about as being from the “old ways” and were taken away from him when dad changed. Helmut is helping the men get the bonds for their “cause” which the men lie about. Only at the end when Tarzan tells Helmut that the bonds are long gone (a VERY nice and unexpected twist) that the boy turns it around and believes dad and his newfound change WERE dad as strength and strong. He then, in a forced scene that does NOT work, cries. Sort of.
Tarzan doesn’t know the bonds are there? He does know as he tells Helmut. Or was he guessing they were gone? He sure looks surprised when he doesn’t find them after being forced to swim underwater to where Helmut remembered they were.
OH and one other thing: Helmut looks a little too old to be in the school (named ) that Tarzan brings him to. The runner (Dr. Faris) of the school (Savar Mission School) tells Tarzan that he told Arthur to send the boy to a better, more appropriate school in a city so there’s that. Helmut doesn’t stay long and leaves of his own accord to join the men that killed his father, the dope. Dope with the dopes.
Jai is not in this episode? Nope. He is. He’s not seen with any of the principals including Tarzan himself. In what is a very curious scene, Jai and Cheetah (?) that he never calls by name, show up, with two other chimps (just perfect for a volley ball game) at the school Helmut is supposed to stay at.
I wonder if the episode under ran and so they used this filler scene as…we see a few boys (four?) that we haven’t seen before. They’re at the school playing volleyball. Jai comes out of the jungle with three chimps. Jai has never played volleyball before but he challenges the boys to a game and seems to be winning when the school runner Dr. Faris, comes to them and tells him that his three team members are ineligible and disqualified ( can someone be racist against chimps?), thus Jai’s team loses by default. And again, Jai does not call any of these chimps Cheetah. He heard the drums tell that Tarzan was at the school but not that Tarzan left and knows he cannot catch up to his friend. Tarzan alone travels too fast and too quiet, according to Jai.
Although it wasn’t, I’d guess, I wondered if this was filmed a long time ago as Jai looks much younger than in recent scenes and episodes but maybe it’s my imagination? Either way this volleyball game is probably the series’ most bizarre sequence but I’m sure there are other contenders but up to now, it’s the biggest WTF moment, other than, you know, Tarzan protecting two murdering Nazis from death AND a 20 something kid who might be helping them!
There’s also a commissioner who reminds me of Jason Flood from the very early episodes but he is only seen in one early scene, establishing there are four bodies (under blankets). This guy, however, does not sound British. Not sure what that accent is. French? South African? Latino? Spanish?
Virgil Richardson appears again as the tribe leader and the chief of M’Kone…who can’t stop his men from going on a mission of revenge and murder and who lies to Tarzan about them being on hunting or farming work!?
The school runner is Dr. Faris and he smokes a pipe.
A word about the format: it keeps changing. It’s never uniform. Here, we get the theme first, action, (This time NO special preview of clips), about four minutes of more of action, a break for ads, then the title. More action. Then the writer. More action. Then the director. This is NOT how it always is. Sometimes there is a special preview and then the theme, sometimes the theme and then the preview, sometimes NO preview but reprises of the first part if it is a two part episode and then the theme, sometimes action and then the theme but often then not, the theme and then the title card immediately. I give up on trying to figure out the format of the show. There isn’t one.
M’Kone and his men are terrible shots with spears but the Nazis are awful, too: both of them have M’Kone standing in their sights for at least 20 seconds, while everyone else is scrambling for cover but M’Kone stands there as several more shots ring out and…miss him entirely.
Some of the license plate on the commissioner’s jeep/van is blacked out.
Years ago, the chief guided a man and his young son, Arthur and Helmut to the old trading post (which looks like all the other posts we’ve ever seen on the show, same set it would seem). These new men wanted to know where and questioned him now. The woman and child became frightened and tried to run so were shot!?
How does Tarzan say that he understands M’Kone’s grief? Does he have his own? Jane? Did he lose someone else?
Okay I thought I saw this someplace but it’s not true I think as I can’t find it anywhere: Someone named Tall Boy is credited somewhere on the net but not in the actual end credits. No, this is not TALL BOY from the earliest episodes of season one but a tall boy. Now, all the boys, next to Jai are tall boys but there is one tall boy in blue pants, who is tallest who says very few words if any and that’s inconsequential and during the volleyball game and some other game the kids play before that (maybe soccer-fooball?). There is a slightly shorter boy who is taller than Jai who talks to him a lot more to ask if he has ever played the game so maybe it is him, though he is not tall in the sense that the other boy in blue pants is taller.
ERBzine Summary ~ Guest Stars ~ Date Aired
40. HOTEL HURRICANE ~ 1967.11.10
(Stewart Raffill as Tall Boy, Manuel Padilla, Jr. as Jai, Rockne Tarkington as Tao,
Alan Caillou as Jason Flood, Seamon Glass as Freddy, Donnelly Rhodes as Hank,
Jean Hale as Lora, Bert Freed as Bonacci, Michael Tolan as John Turner, Ronn Glenn Sr.)
Mobsters try to fool Tarzan and Jai into helping them recover stolen money.
Ron directs and does a good job!
Ron Ely’s TARZAN
Episode 40. HOTEL HURRICANE
Review By Charles Mento
“Either you help us find the cargo or your little friend Jai won’t ever leave that hotel.”
“You know, John, there are all kinds of jungles. Maybe we just have to take our chances. Maybe you just learn to live in your jungle like a man instead of an animal.”
Donelly Rhodes of DANGER BAY and with a huge list of credits beyond belief is Hank. Jean Hale does a great job as Lora Dunfee aka Lora Turner. Lora seems to have a close touchy feely relationship to Tarzan, even though he seems pleasantly surprised at her welcome hug. Bert Freed is Bonacci. And until the final act I thought scary man Freddy as played by Seamon Glass (is that a real name? C’mon!) was mute. He doesn’t utter one word until he has to in the final act.
A pilot bails out and his chute doesn’t open properly so he dies but we find that out much later. There is a huge storm that seems to abate and then the hurricane hits later. During the first set of storm, we get Jai in stock footage going into the tree house, seen for the second time. Then he lays on a bed eating a banana.
Then, Cheetah and another chimp come in and throw things around and Jai is, at first amused, then scared of getting hit.
Then, more stock footage as he runs through the house to chase Cheetah who takes his spelling book in an exact clip from VOICE OF THE ELEPANT, Jai looking younger and with a different hair style and possibly slightly longer or shorter hair. We even see the baby elephant, long out of the show, pulling the elevator up and down. In the stock footage, Jai looks awed as if this is the first time he’s ever seen the tree house and it plays badly just for that. The treehouse was mentioned way back in a very early first season episode (possibly the one with the Colonel).
The odd thing is that…the footage of Jai on the bed is new and the stock footage shows the same room but now it has a whole different looks and arrangement to it!? I guess they thought no one would notice. The bed is even different. The whole thing reeks of filler as the goofy music plays out over Cheetah and the other chimp’s antics. We also see the baby elephant whose been long forgotten by the show.
So there’s a storm (and it looks quite good on all fronts) and then…it’s quiet and then the storm hits again as a hurricane? What? Was this the eye? Frankly, the storm that hits Jai and Cheetah just looks worse than the actual hurricane Tarzan says will follow!
The stock footage of the yacht or schooner works but what was with showing us the white pants and blue jacket of the man on board with Hank? Was this to keep it a secret that this was…who? John Turner? The mob boss? Freddy? That doesn’t work at all as we don’t know what’s going on at all yet and we have no context.
Outside, chasing Cheetah, possibly worried about the chimp in the storm, Jai is menaced by a frightened and utterly GIANT elephant but Tarzan shows up. The plane crashes with money on board. There is also a schooner or yacht in the storm that is being buffeted about.
Michael Tolan plays John Turner, the man who pretends to be something he is not but it turns out, in a nice twist, that he is Lora’s husband, the one she told Jai and Tarzan was dead. To her, he was dead when he first started lending his trucks to the mob and then he became so in with them that they wanted more and more. They broke his leg or ankle, too. This is his revenge.
It’s a convoluted plot. He had a pilot steal money from them and bring it to a hotel in Africa, near his wife so that he could…wait, now I’m not sure how that would work? He wanted to get them in trouble. On his ship, he has three men who he believes works for him.
In a plot with them and with Hank, they plan to overcome the boss (at least on this trip) Bonacci and his mostly silent enforcer Freddie. Fred will watch over Lora and Jai while Turner waits with the three of them at the hotel while they at first trick Tarzan into taking them to the crashed plane wreck.
There, they DO find the money. Tarzan saves Hank from a lion and for once the stock footage almost fits in with the new action. Of course, I stopped mentioning that EVERY episode features stock of Ely swinging through the trees with a different haircut than current episodes, so we see a shorter hair cut and blacker hair in the stock. In any case, he also saves him from a native spear attack. Bonacci shoots one native and then after all Tarzan did to save Hank, he throws an arrow into Hank’s back and kills him.
The natives look so wildly different from one another I suspect partial stock footage here, possibly from the Charity Jones two parter. Bonacci shoots at least one more native when this native shoots an arrow at them. When Bonacci throws an arrow into Hank’s back, one can see the padding used for the stunt/effect. It looks bad.
What is with Ely’s hair in this episode? I guess it’s the wind machine? It looks at various times like a Holland Milk Maid’s hair and even like a floppy cow’s ears or maybe the devil with horns? And I’m not kidding.
One slow segue from Tarzan on the cliff with a bright day sky to the cloudy dark stormy sky is beautiful.
What I don’t understand is that the full outside of the hotel isn’t shown until the very end and it’s nice to look at but why not show it all off during the episode?
At one point, Turner calls Tarzan Lora’s “jungle boyfriend” a fact that’s downplayed in the script and the episode.
After the final fight, Tarzan…holds hands with Turner?
Bonacci joins the ranks of greedy and stupid villains when he goes off a cliff after the money bag and dies.
All of them (except Lora) were threatening Jai if Tarzan didn’t go get the money and then bring it back to the hotel. During this the second wave of the hurricane hits. Cheetah is worrisome as he’s mostly outside and up a tree, sometimes at Tarzan’s request. Love Lora shutting the shutter on Freddy’s staring face.
Jai doesn’t want to eat with a knife and fork. And he sure eats a lot in this episode: at least three times or more.
I am beginning to see a few themes in this series: greed vs nature; greed vs loyalty and friendship; family is friendship or friendship if family; revenge does one no good; get greedy and die; nature can and will kill you if you’re a murderous swine; and good intentions don’t mean a thing unless you’re willing to act.
Turner didn’t want Jai hurt or Lora either. He intended to use Hank and his three men to turn against Bonacci and Freddie. This backfires when Hank dies and Freddie has the three men from the ship on his side and recaptures Tarzan, Lora and Jai during the storm. Turner has to burn the money to lure the crooks away from them but one remains but Tarzan takes him down. Then, inside, Tarzan helps Turner and Tarzan utterly beats the tar out of Freddie and the other two men.
Lora’s two aides were native men—Mako and Tuala--- who Jai asked about. I worried that they were killed but Lora never says they are, even in the end and at least one native man was helping her repair the hotel in the epilog. Lora had to send them away and she claims it was because they were worried about their families in the village with the storms coming. Turner decides to stay and help her for good. His transformation is believable yet he’s really a creepy jerk to Lora, to Jai, and even to Freddy before it. Lora might be using her maiden name, Dumphie (though it is also pronounced by Turner as Dunfie or Dumfrie). She claimed her husband died.
I forgot to mention Ely directs this. And frankly, he does a great job. It’s tighter than the other episodes and works better in many ways. It even makes sense all the way through from start to finish.
Of note, Ely, who hasn’t shown many scars of late, has a huge either dirty mark or dark nasty series of scars on his right arm as he has it around Jai in an early scene at the hotel AND then later in the tree as he watches Bonacci and Hank, his left shoulder seems to have nasty and dark scar marks on it (fake or not? I do not know).
The format has changed back to clips from the episode, action, title.
Tarzan talks to the commissioner and the commissioner released a story that his boat was lost in the hurricane. Lora calls the mob the syndicate. She fears they will track them down, even if they can’t have the money, Turn feels that they will want revenge. Sequel? Not the first ep that demands a sequel.
Uhm, hang on, if the three men and Freddy are still alive and in jail, can’t they tell that Turner was NOT lost at sea?
It’s also odd seeing Tarzan help paint the hotel and sweep up the mess. Symbolism comes into play as Turner throws away his cane.
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